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Touch ID

(also biometric authentication, fingerprint identification)

Touch ID definition

Touch ID is a fingerprint recognition feature designed and released by Apple Inc., first introduced for the iPhone 5 and later incorporated in other Apple devices like iPads and Macbooks. It utilizes a user's unique fingerprint pattern as a biometric identifier to unlock devices, authenticate purchases, and log in to applications, serving as a secure and convenient alternative to traditional password systems.

See also: password vault, biometric authentication, biometric device, biometric data, biometric security

Touch ID examples

  • Device unlocking: Touch ID allows users to unlock their Apple devices with a simple touch, eliminating the need to remember complex passwords.
  • Online purchases: With Touch ID, users can authenticate their purchases on the App Store or iTunes by simply using their fingerprint.
  • App authentication: Some apps support Touch ID as an authentication method, providing an additional layer of security.

Advantages and disadvantages of Touch ID


  • Convenience: Touch ID is quick and easy to use, speeding up the authentication process significantly.
  • Security: Since fingerprints are unique, it’s highly difficult for someone else to access a Touch ID-secured device.
  • Privacy: Fingerprints aren't transmitted to Apple or backed up to iCloud, protecting user privacy.


  • Sensor issues: Touch ID relies on a sensor that may not work properly if it’s dirty or if the finger used is damp or injured.
  • Limited to Apple devices: As a proprietary technology, Touch ID is only available on certain Apple devices.

Using Touch ID

  • Ensure that your finger and the Home button are clean and dry before using Touch ID.
  • In settings, you can register multiple fingerprints to Touch ID for greater accessibility.